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Object Timeline

  • We acquired this object.

1977

  • Work on this object began.

2014

2019

  • You found it!

Film, Powers of Ten, 1977

This is a Film. It was made by Charles Eames and Ray Kaiser Eames and made for International Business Machines Corp. (IBM). It is dated 1977.

Powers of Ten (1977) is a short film written and directed by the designers Charles and Ray Eames. An adaptation of Kees Boeke’s 1957 book Cosmic View, the nine-minute film depicts the relative scale of the universe in power of ten. Powers of Ten promotes a type of rich, interdisciplinary thought that approaches ideas from multiple interrelated perspectives, ranging from the infinitesimal to the cosmic, as well as the orders of magnitude in between. Beginning a mythical journey into space with a lakeside picnic in Chicago as its starting point, the film transports viewers to the outer edges of the universe by increasing the distance from earth ten times every ten seconds. Returning to earth with breathtaking speed, the film then pictures a voyage into the human body, ending inside a carbon atom in the hand of a man sleeping at the picnic.

It is credited Courtesy © Eames Office, LLC.

Its dimensions are

Running time: 9 minutes

This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition Tools: Extending Our Reach.

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If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/35457285/ |title=Film, Powers of Ten, 1977 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=20 October 2019 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>